My soil is talking to me.

Shenandoah Valley, VA(Zone 6b)

I don't *think* it's in my head. 24 hours after a lot of rain, the yard is making sucking, crackling, popping noises like a bowl of rice cereal. We moved here late last summer. What is this? Is it just slow drainage from this heavy clay soil? Do I live over a sinkhole? Or are the worms screaming?

Background: soil tests for this newly-plowed (in the fall) 600 sq ft garden spot showed slight alkalinity, very high organic matter and calcium, low phosphorus and potash. We added manure, chopped leaves, straw and trace minerals in the fall. This spring we've added four coir blocks and 60 lbs greensand to break things up a bit. When the neighbor comes over w/ his tractor to till it after things dry out, we'll add some sulfate of potash. What else, if anything, should we do?

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

You've done well in preparing. Getting soil up to its most productive level is very hard to do in just one season, but you've made a great start. Create lots of compost as often as you can and work it in each time a a planting area is ready to start a new crop. As to the "noise" - I really don't know, but might be soil settling after water movement, much like liquid going down the drain.

Shenandoah Valley, VA(Zone 6b)

Thanks again, Yuska. It's a really odd noise for me to hear coming from the ground. I'll try to start building compost bins this weekend, since I can't shell out for the tumbler sort that seem quicker.

Portland, OR(Zone 8b)

When I bought my place a couple of years ago, the first few waterings in the clay soil made that crackling sound you speak of. I could actualy watch it too! It is just the water trying to drain!


Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

Excuse me.... ( lol lol lol) ... I swear my dogs talk to me but when my soil starts to talkin', I'm gonna go check-in for a long rest. ROTFLOL


Linden, VA(Zone 6a)

Where do you find coir bricks?

Shenandoah Valley, VA(Zone 6b)

I get them at Countryside Natural Products in Fishersville. Sort of a haul from you, but they may have dealers up there. I actually first ran into them at the Piedmont Small Farm Festival in the Plains when I lived in Broad Run. I'd give them a call and see if anyone's running up your way.

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